resource hub | Changes to Building Regulations: getting homes and buildings fit for the future

Changes to Building Regulations: getting homes and buildings fit for the future

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, the built environment is responsible for a considerable amount of global energy use and waste – accounting for around 40% of total energy use and contributing approximately 30% of greenhouse gas emissions.

 

A growing number of countries are committing to achieve carbon neutrality within the next few decades – the UK being one of them. Our Government has set a target of net zero emissions by 2050. In order to help meet this target, the Government has proposed changes to Part L (conservation of fuel and power) and Part F (ventilation) of the Building Regulations in both domestic and non-domestic buildings via the Future Homes Standard and Future Buildings Standard consultations.

 

Background on the consultation process

 

The first stage of the consultation, the Future Homes Standard, ran from October 2019 to February 2020 and looked at the energy efficiency requirements for new homes. The Government have published their response to the Future Homes Standard consultation.

 

Outcomes of the Future Home Standard consultation:

 

  • From 2021 new homes will be expected to produce 31% lower carbon emissions
  • By 2025 new homes should not be heated by fossil fuels
  • New homes will be subject to an overheating mitigation requirement (see part-two details that follows)
  • Transitional arrangements will last for one year and apply to individual homes, rather than an entire development

 

The Future Buildings Standard consultation process


The second stage of the consultation process, Future Buildings Standard, is due to finish on 13 April. This stage focuses on the energy and ventilation standards for non-domestic buildings, existing homes and includes proposals to mitigate against overheating in residential buildings.

 

What the Future Buildings Standard consultation addresses

 

This stage of the consultation is open until 13 April 2021. The Government is seeking views on the following areas:

 

Non-domestic buildings:

 

  • Uplift energy efficiency standards for new non-domestic buildings in 2021 which is intended to deliver a 27% reduction in carbon emissions compared to the existing Part L standard. The interim uplift will ensure that construction professionals and supply chains are working to higher specifications in readiness for the proposed introduction of the Future Buildings Standard from 2025
  • Improvements to the non-domestic energy modelling methodologies
  • Improvements to standards when work is carried out in existing non-domestic buildings
  • Changes to Part F (ventilation) and its associated Approved Document guidance, for both new and existing non-domestic buildings
  • Proposals to introduce a new overheating mitigation requirement in the Building Regulations for new non-domestic buildings classed as residential

 

Domestic buildings:

 

  • A new overheating mitigation requirement in the Building Regulations for new homes
  • Improvements to standards when work is carried out in existing homes
  • Reconsulting on the Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard, as well as other standards for building services in new homes and guidance on the calibration of devices that carry out airtightness testing
  • Changes to Part F (ventilation) and its associated Approved Document guidance

 

The details of proposed changes are available from the consultation document on the Future Buildings Standard page on GOV.UK. It considers proposed standards for thermal elements, heating, lighting, hot water, ventilation, new and replacement windows/doors and more.

 

How to take part

 

Make sure you have your say. Contribute your views on the Future Buildings Standard consultation before 13 April.


 

Find out about Premier Guarantee’s building control services.


If you’re interested in learning more about the carbon impact of the built environment, check out this infographic from the UK Green Building Council.

 


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